Washington, Dec. 5 -- The nation's capital bids its final farewell to the late president, George H.W. Bush, in a service of prayer and praise that is drawing together world envoys, Americans of high office and a guy from Maine who used to fix things in Bush's house on the water.

The ceremony Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral, the nexus of state funerals, will cap three days of remembrance by dignitaries and ordinary citizens as they honored the Republican president who oversaw the post-Cold War transition and led a successful Gulf War, only to lose re-election in a generational shift to Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992.

The four living ex-presidents are coming - among them, George W. Bush will eulogize his father - and President D...